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Thursday, 27 March 2003
Page: 10347


Senator IAN CAMPBELL (Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer) (11:05 AM) —I will be very brief. It is interesting to have had that debate, by leave, about the discussion of foreign policy motions. If you think back over this fortnight of sittings, we have, quite appropriately, spent an enormous amount of time discussing foreign policy issues. We will not be supporting the reference of this matter to the Legal and Constitutional References Committee. Senator Evans has made some points that I would agree with, even though we disagree on some of the policy issues.

I would just make one point, however, because I think it should be made. I do not want to debate the detail of the issues that Senator Brown is seeking to refer, but I do think the government should restate, at the very least, the fact that we have received formal advice that the legal basis for the use of force against Iraq is absolutely unequivocal. This advice is consistent with the advice provided to the United States, the United Kingdom and the Dutch and Danish governments as well as with views expressed by the prime ministers of Italy and Japan. The authority derives from Security Council resolutions Nos 678, 687 and 1441, all of which were passed under the relevant charter of the United Nations—specifically, I refer to chapter 7—and the government is strongly advised in those terms.